By Jerry Maynard and James Nelson

I understand there is a need out there for most people to want to go into the newest chapter in the Star Wars saga knowing absolutely nothing. I however am not one of those. I want to know everything about the setting (and the movie) that I can. So without delving into leaks, we will go over some of the stuff that is public knowledge (Battle of Jakku for instance) and things that have been seen in the trailers.

The Resistance and The First Order


So the biggest difference in setting from the original trilogy is that there is no longer an Empire and a Rebellion. It is the First Order and The Resistance. The best description we’ve had so far for the First Order is from director J.J. Abrams. The First Order is sort of like if Nazis, after losing World War II, escaped to South America and remade the Nazi Reich in a more perfect image. They are the hardest or hard core Imperials who see Darth Vader as a martyr, and see the work of the Empire as incomplete.

The Resistance, on the other hand, is much more elusive. We don’t know, for certain, about the fate of the Rebellion. We know that the Rebellion became the New Republic from the book Aftermath , but we still don’t know how it became the Resistance. One statement from Oscar Isaac, the actor who plays Poe Dameron, says that the name shows that the Resistance is more defensive, or more cornered, than the Rebellion were, as rebelling is a more active, offensive action. It’s almost as if the galaxy has become a giant failed state, and that no one group is in firm control.


Starkiller Base

starkiller base

It’s kind of hard to miss this giant angry ball in the upper right quarter of the official The Force Awakens poster. Though it has yet to be confirmed as Starkiller Base, we all know it has to be. Speculation states that it is a retrofitted planet that has been turned into a Death Star like weapon. This makes sense for many reasons, not least of which is that in order to blow it up, you would need another Death Star, which would seem ethically dubious for the Resistance to have. It also might be Ilum, i.e. the planet where the Jedi farmed their lightsaber crystals.

Finn is wielding the lightsaber of Anakin Skywalker

finn lightsaber

While we are not 100% confirmed that Finn is a force sensitive, we do know 100% that he wields this lightsaber in multiple situations including a battle against Kylo Ren and a separate battle against a stormtrooper with some sort of vibroweapon…

The First Order has developed technology for the average trooper that can hold off a lightsaber attack.

melee storm trooper

This Stormtrooper is a champ and besides boldly wielding an unheard of level of confidence against what could be a  lightsaber wielding jedi, he also wields some sort of vibroweapon (like what General Grievous’s bodyguards had in Revenge of the Sith) that does not get instantaneously disintegrated by a lightsaber.

Kylo-Ren’s Lightsaber is very old school

kylo ren lightsaber

From what this photo from the Star Wars Launch Bay in Orlando, Florida says, Kylo Ren’s Lightsaber is modeled after an ancient design and the crossguard aspect of it is more or less a vent for the main blade which implies that this lightsaber could be more powerful than what we have seen before

Anakin’s old lightsaber was found by someone in the Industrial depths of cloud city

hero lightsaber

This photo, also from the Star Wars Launch Bay gives a little bit of information as to how the blade of Anakin Skywalker found its way from the severed hand of Luke to the current universe our heroes have found themselves in. This blade has always brought terrible luck on the hands of its wielder so we at Nerd Union are wondering if Finn will be losing a hand or two as well.

Poe is captured at some point and is brought face to face with Kylo Ren

poe and kylo

We know that Poe is captured by Kylo Ren at some point in the film and the possible ramifications of this scene could be monumental to the plot depending on just how important Poe is to the story.

Poe Dameron has a greater connection to the franchise

So in preparing for the role, Oscar Isaac sort of created a backstory for the character where he had been born on Yavin IV (the planet where the rebel base is located on in Star Wars). The reason for this was that he was born in Guatemala around the same time Star Wars had filmed the Yavin IV scenes. This came back around to some of the new expanded universe writers and it was written into the new canon that Poe was born to a pair of rebels who called Yavin IV home for a time.


kylo ren

That looks like black hair to me….Nuff said….NOT KYLO REN

BB-8 is more mysterious than we previously assumed

BB-8’s origins are apparently ‘classified’ according to this Chinese trailer. It’s most likely that the droid is either serving a Resistance Spy on Jakku, or that it is actually Poe Dameron’s droid, as we see that same droid flying in Poe’s X-Wing in the trailers.

The Millennium Falcon has a bad day


Aside from fighting a group of TIE Fighters, and escaping the planet Jakku, you can also see in the latest trailer at 1:53 that the Millennium Falcon has a crash landing in the snow for reasons unknown to us currently.

Kylo Ren is not the only dark side force sensitive

A New Emperor?

Andy Serkis is playing Supreme Leader Snoke. We hear his voice in some of the trailers saying “There has been an awakening in the force,” which leads us to believe that he is force sensitive, and that he is most likely a dark sider. This is mainly because he is believed to be leading the First Order. There are theories ranging from him being a former Imperial advisor all the way to him being Darth Plagueis (Emperor Palpatine’s mentor).


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